My Movie Alphabet: Pt. III

Here it is, folks. The third and final entry in My Movie Alphabet. If you missed parts I and II, or you just want to see them again because they’re so awesome, you can go here and here. As a reminder, this is part of the wonderful blogathon started by Mettel Ray. So, without further ado, let’s get down to business, shall we?

R: Ratatouille

Runner up: Robert De Niro

Disney·Pixar is a synonym of quality, and their best, in my opinion, is Ratatouille, a warm, absolutely charming movie about a rat that wants to make it big in the culinary world. With beautiful animation and music, great voice work, and two of the things I love the most: Paris and food, this very quickly became my favorite animated film. One of my favorite films, period.

Other favorites: Revolutionary Road, Ryan Gosling, Rosemary’s Baby, Rose Byrne

S: Singin’ in the Rain

One of my favorite musicals and an absolute classic. That scene of actor/director Gene Kelly, well, singing in the rain, is one of the most iconic sequences ever. Fun, funny, and expertly choreographed, there’s no way I was going to leave this out. Gene Kelly was the man.

Other favorites: Somos Lo Que Hay, Sam Mendes, Stanley Kubrick, Salma Hayek, The Social Network, Sean Penn, Sidney Lumet, Stanley Tucci, Saoirse Ronan

T: Tom Hiddleston

Along with Tom Hardy, Andrew Garfield and Carey Mulligan (all Brits, coincidentally), Tom Hiddleston is an actor that stepped into the limelight fairly recently but is now part of my list of favorite actors. I chose to highlight him because he’s been the best thing about some movies I didn’t like: Thor, The Avengers and War Horse. He was pretty good as F. Scott Fitzgerald in Midnight in Paris, as well (I loved that one, though).

Other favorites: The Tree of Life, There Will be Blood, Titanic, Tim Burton, Trainspotting, Tom Wilkinson, Tina Fey, Tom Hardy

U: Up in the Air

We now enter the “tricky” part of the alphabet. Not many words, much less names or movie titles, start with U, V, W, X, Y or Z, so the choices are much more limited. For “U”, though, I chose Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air, a sweet dramedy with fantastic writing and even better acting. George Clooney, Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick all got Oscar nominations for their work in this. Do you want the can, sir?

Other favorites:  Up, Uma Thurman, The Usual Suspects

V: Volver

Remember that film I referenced back in “K”? Well, this is it and it’s no surprise. I am head-over-heels in love with this gem by Pedro Almodóvar. No other film that I’ve seen so far achieves such a perfect, seamless balance between humor and pathos. Visually colorful but thematically dark, this is a warm, intimate story about family, brought to life by a mostly female and massively talented cast. Together, these “chicas Almodóvar” won the ‘Best Actress’ prize at the Cannes Film Festival, while Penélope Cruz got her first Oscar nomination. Carmen Maura and Lola Dueñas were superb as well.

Other favorites: Vera Farmiga, V For Vendetta, Vicky Cristina Barcelona

W: Woody Allen

Runner-up: Walt Disney

This was probably the toughest decision I had to make for this post, but in the end Woody won over Walt (just barely). Allan Stewart Königsberg is a genius writer, a skilled director and a formidable actor with many, many classics under his belt. A legend.

Other favorites: Walk the Line, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Wes Anderson, Whip It, Woody Harrelson, Warrior, WALL·E

X: X-Men: First Class

Slim pickings here. Not crazy about the X-Men films but I could be writing about worse movies. My favorite of the bunch is last year’s First Class, a very stylish origin story with the best cast in the series, which included James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and Rose Byrne.

Y: Y tu Mamá También

Simple indie gem from the awesome Alfonso Cuarón. An involving story very well performed by Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna, who’d go on to become superstars in Mexico and quite famous worldwide, along with Spanish actress Maribel Verdú. The writing by brothers Alfonso and Carlos Cuarón is top-notch, and so is the narration by one of my favorite actors, Daniel Giménez Cacho.

Other favorites: Young Adult

Z: Zombieland

One of the funniest films I’ve ever seen. I was with a friend, and we actually had to pause it a few times to catch our breath and compose ourselves. Great cast, too, with Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin, as well as a hilarious cameo from Bill Murray. Funny and gory is a great combination, and this film delivers on both counts. Where’s the fucking Twinkies?!

Other favorites: Zhang Yimou, Zodiac